The Herald-Dispatch |

Idol Chit-Chat
This is your place to discuss all things "American Idol." The performances, the judges, the past contestants — it’s all right here.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Next Kellie Pickler?

You just knew this was coming…

Kristy Lee Cook has a record deal.

According to “USA Today,” Kristy Lee has signed with 19 Recordings/Arista Nashville with a release scheduled for fall. Her first single, “15 Minutes of Shame,” will hit radio August 11th.

Her album is being produced by Brett James, who co-wrote “Jesus, Take the Wheel.”

You may recall that this will be the second time Kristy Lee has signed with Arista. Last time she was dropped before recording anything.

So will Kristy Lee be another “Idol” flop, or could she be the next Kellie Pickler—an “Idol” finalist who really should have just disappeared but ended up carving out a good career for herself?

Ruben Ties the Knot

Ruben Studdard married Surata Zuri McCants Saturday in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. The AP reports that a string ensemble provided the music and that no one—not even Ruben—sang.

Ruben plans to be busy this fall with the release of a new album and the national tour of “Ain’t Misbehavin’”…

Friday, June 27, 2008

Breaking News: Has 19 Dropped Fantasia?

“Entertainment Weekly” is reporting that 19 Management has dropped Fantasia from its roster of artists.

However, “EW” reports that she has not lost her record deal with 19 Recordings and remains on the label.

A rep for 19 declined to give “EW” a comment for the story, but a source told them that the reason for the split was “creative differences.”

Gee, think one of those creative differences was that horrendous “musical” display on “Idol” last season? I’m guessing yes…

If you missed it, here it is. I recommend turning down your volume...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Audition Cities Announced!

Ladies and gentlemen, the fun is about to begin…

FOX has just announced the sites of the season eight auditions.

And they are: San Francisco, July 17th; Louisville, July 21st; Phoenix, July 25th; Salt Lake City, July 29th; San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug. 2nd; Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 8th; Jacksonville, Aug. 13th; and East Rutherford, N.J., Aug. 19th.

You can find out more at the “Idol” website

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Arista Drops Blake

To really no one’s surprise, Arista has dropped Blake Lewis.

Blake confirmed the news that was first reported over the weekend on his MySpace page this morning.

“Ring, ring, ring went the phone. Iain my manager baring the news. Arista isn't
picking up the second option. Meaning, I'm not doin another record with them.
I'm totally fine with this... I was just wishing they would have put the word
out to me over the last couple months, because lets face it..... Waiting
SUCKS!!!! I could have known this 2 months ago, when all of RCA was going
through there changes. Oh well. I guess the right time was now. No biggy. I'm
still with 19 Recordings and I got a tour and new record on the way.

I'll I need is a home for my music. Some place warm and tropical.... seriously
though... Got to be a place where they actually respect my craft and electronic
music. Getting RCA to do remixes for my record was like pulling teeth AND I had
friends do the mixes for next to nothing. They turned out great and are rising
on the Billboard charts.”

As I’ve said before, Arista really gave no love to Blake. If they had released “How Many Words” as the first single, he may have had a fighting chance. It’s almost like they were trying to torpedo his career…

Even though Blake wouldn’t like the comparison, this reminds me of the situation with Taylor Hicks. Taylor made a good CD, but RCA could never get a handle on a single. When he made the promotional rounds, he did “Runaround,” which was not the way to go and then they “responded to the fans” and released “Just to Feel That Way,” which should have been the first single to start with. But since he had already made all of his promotional stops, he didn’t get a chance to hype what should have been a big hit. The label did the same thing with Blake by saddling him with an almost unperformable first single in “Break Anotha.”

The reasoning that some gave for Taylor was that he made enemies at the label by being so difficult. Maybe Blake did the same…

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Breaking News: The Lyric Street Triple Threat Goes Disney!

This just in from the fine folks at Lyric Street Records…

The Lyric Street “Idol” triple threat of Josh Gracin, Bucky Covington and Phil Stacey are all featured on the new Disney CD, “Country Sings Disney,” which hits stores July 8th.

According to the press release, the CD features 15 classic and contemporary Disney tracks from a who’s who of today’s hottest country stars including Brad Paisley, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

Josh’s track is “When I See an Elephant Fly” from “Dumbo.” Bucky does “You’ll Be In My Heart,” from “Tarzan” and Phil recorded “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from “The Lion King.”


Billy Ray fans will be happy to know that he has two tracks on the CD—“Real Gone” and his smash duet with Miley, “Ready, Set, Don’t Go"...
Photo provided by Lyric Street Records

Congrats to Ruben!

“People” is reporting that Ruben Studdard has obtained a marriage license in Alabama.

Ruben and his fiancé, Surata Zuri McCants filed the paperwork yesterday, according to the magazine’s website.

There’s no word on a wedding date. The license is valid for 30 days…

Is Ryan Seacrest a “Momma’s Boy”?

I told you in a recent post that Ryan Seacrest is producing a new NBC reality series about guys looking for love with the help of their moms called “Momma’s Boys.”

Well, now an article in “Parade” shows us that Ryan knows his show’s subject matter firsthand…

In the article, Ryan’s mom, Connie, talks about having her say on Ryan’s future wife:

“I’ll certainly get a vote…Ryan likes to date, but he’s so busy now. There’s not a woman in the world that wants to go out with a guy who gets up at 4:30 in the morning and goes to bed at 8:30 at night. We’re going to find him a better life as far as not working every single hour of the day before he makes a commitment.”

Um, has she discussed this with Ryan?

And as for no woman wanting to go out with a guy with those hours? I know of a woman who could make it work…

The 2 Voices Unite Again

Kelly Clarkson is once again teaming up with Reba McEntire for the “2 Worlds 2 Voices Tour” this fall.

Kelly and Reba will play 24 dates, including Columbus on November 20th. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 26th at 10 a.m.

So will Kelly debut any songs from her new Clive Davis-friendlier album on the tour? Hmm…

Simon on Josiah: “We should have put him through”

As I’ve already told you, Josiah Leming—the contestant who auditioned for “Idol” while living out of his car and then famously dismissed the band during Hollywood Week—is working on his debut album for Universal Records.

And now, Simon Cowell is saying that just proves him right…

In an article on, Simon said, “We should have put him through.” Simon said Randy never supported Josiah and although she loved him, Paula voted against him as well. “I don’t know what they were thinking,” Simon said.

So if Simon was so sure about him, why didn’t he get to him before Universal did?...

Taylor Plots His Comeback

Never fear, Soul Patrol fans. Contrary to what “Idol” may lead you to believe, Taylor Hicks is still making music…

Vanguard Records, which specializes in jazz, blues and folk releases, will distribute Taylor’s next album, which will be on his own label, Whomp Records.

The “New York Post” reports that the album is expected to be mostly made up of Taylor’s pre-“Idol” songs. It’s scheduled for an August release.

You may recall that Arista had the option to pick up Taylor’s next CD if it chose. I’m guessing they passed…

Taylor is currently playing Teen Angel in “Grease” on Broadway…

Baby V: Armed and Dangerous?

Remember Baby V, Vonzell Solomon? She finished third to Carrie Underwood and Bo Bice in season four.

Well, earlier this month, she got herself into a little trouble when she brought a handgun to the airport.

On her MySpace page, Vonzell says it was “an honest mistake,” that she was “rushing to make a scheduled flight” and didn’t realize the gun was in her purse.

According to a report on, airport officials confiscated the unloaded gun and issued her a notice to appear in court on a misdemeanor charge of carrying a gun into an airport.

In case you’re wondering, Vonzell does have a concealed-weapons permit.

The website also reports that Vonzell has a new single coming out in August…

Is Archie Dropping Out?

Last week, took David Archuleta to task for dropping out of high school.

According to the site, Archie has not signed up for classes at his school, Murray High. Classes are scheduled to begin August 25th. The rumor is that he will be home schooled, which the site argues is “just as good as saying he is dropping out.”

The site went on to say, “the example he sets could have devastating effects.”

Devastating effects? Huh?

If Archie had just quit school on a whim to try and make it as a singer, I might be more inclined to agree (And I stress the word might.). But Archie made it because of a TV show. That’s not really an example everyone can follow.

And what about all of the other kids in show business who do not attend public school. Are they dropouts as well? I think they should cut him some slack…

By the way, the “New York Post” quoted a Murray High administrator as saying the report was “inaccurate.” “The Deseret News” reported that Archie can register at any time during the year.

What do you guys think? Is this much ado about nothing?

Brooke Gets Ready to Save the World

Brooke White has teamed up with Idol Gives Back and Malaria No More for the “Save the World Summer” campaign…

“Save the World Summer” is encouraging children ages 5-14 to use their summer vacation to raise money for bed nets for children in Africa.

The child who raises the most money will receive two tickets to next year’s “Idol” finale.

For more information, visit the program’s website.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bucky Covington at Gallia County Fair

According to the Lyric Street website and the fair site, Bucky Covington will be performing at the Gallia County Fair in Gallipolis Thursday, July 31st at 8:30 p.m.

With Bucky in Gallia County, Josh in Scioto County and Phil at Poage Landing Days, it's a Lyric Street trifecta for the Tri-State.

I'm going to be REALLY busy this summer...

Josh Gracin at Scioto County Fair?

According to the Lyric Street Records media website, Josh Gracin is appearing in Lucasville on August 8th.

According to my calendar, that would be the closing weekend of the Scioto County Fair.

Having seen Josh in concert, I can tell you it would be well worth the trip.

I’ll have more details as I get them…

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cook on Kimmel

Last night, David Cook appeared on Jimmy Kimmel’s NBA Finals pre-game show.

You can see the interview here.

Will Carrie Ever Stop Touring?

Carrie Underwood has extended her “Carnival Ride” tour through mid-December. Little Big Town will join her for the new leg beginning September 23rd in Cleveland.

This comes on the heels of Carrie scoring her third #1 from “Carnival Ride” with "Last Name."

Carrie also graces the cover of “Cosmopolitan” this month. You can read an excerpt from the interview here.

You’d think that someone as successful as Carrie wouldn’t need to spend an entire year touring. But apparently someone thinks so…

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Carrie Takes Us Down to the "Paradise City"

In the comments section on my last post, Derek mentioned that Carrie Underwood began her encore with a cover of "Paradise City" by Guns 'N Roses.

If those of you who weren't at the concert are trying to picture it, here's a YouTube video from a concert in March. And I agree that it is pretty good...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Share Your Carrie Stories!

Were you at the Carrie Underwood concert Saturday night?

Feel free to share your stories, pictures, etc. by dropping me a line at or by posting a comment here.

In the meantime, you can view pictures from the concert here.

Friday, June 13, 2008

David Cook: "My Hero"

So I was so caught up in the magic that is Bravo this week that I totally missed this one. My apologies to David Cook fans everywhere…

Cook performed on “The Tonight Show” last night as part of the “Mercedes Benz Summer Concert Series.” He did “Time of My Life,” which you can see here.

Cook also performed a cover of “My Hero” by the Foo Fighters. According to, the song is from the band’s second album, “The Colour and the Shape,” which Cook used to teach himself to play guitar. The performance was exclusively for the Internet and can be seen on “The Tonight Show” website.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cook Shows Some Nerves

If you missed it, here’s a look and listen to David Cook singing the National Anthem at last night’s NBA game.

Check out how nervous he is. I’m presuming that what he’s staring at are the words on a screen somewhere.

And in case you’re wondering, reports that, yes, Kimberly Caldwell was there to show her support…

Monday, June 9, 2008

Cook: "I won't be asking anyone out on TV again"

Last week, David Cook and Kimberly Caldwell continued their romance when Cook accompanied Kimberly to the Dodgers game where she was singing the National Anthem.

E! quotes an eyewitness as saying the two were “acting like they wanted to keep it low key.”

Cook, here’s a tip for you. If you want to keep a romance low key, don’t ask the girl out on national TV.

Of course, it was the TV Guide Channel. And the fact that we were all surprised by his admission on “Live With Regis and Kelly” when he has asked her out on “Idol Tonight” proves how many people actually watch that show…

In the new issue of “People” (which has some seriously hot photos by the way), Cook says he didn’t really think asking her out through or he “would’ve realized that everyone would be asking [him] about it. I can tell you this: I won’t be asking anyone out on TV again.”

If you missed it—and I think most of us did—you can see it here.

The Davids Check Out "The View"

The Davids will try to get a word in edgewise on “The View” later this month.

Archie and Cook will appear June 24th when the show travels to Las Vegas.

“The View” airs at 11 a.m. on ABC…

Cook at the NBA Finals

David Cook will continue an American Idol winner’s tradition when he performs tomorrow night (Tuesday) at the NBA Finals.

Coverage of the finals begins at 8:30 p.m. on ABC…

Friday, June 6, 2008

Enjoy Your Weekend!

I'm taking the weekend off, but I'll be back next week with more news...

Cook on Cougars: "I love cougars right back"

In an interview with, Cook professed his love for cougars. “As long as they’re people who buy my records, I love cougars right back”…

Cook also discussed his relationship with Kimberly Caldwell saying there’s “a lot of stink about it, but I don’t know that it’s warranted just yet”…

Cook also shared with the location of his three tattoos. He has AC (for his brother Adam) on his left bicep, a bleeding heart on his chest and a brain tumor awareness ribbon on his sternum…

So what was the toughest song for Cook to do on “Idol”? “Little Sparrow” because he had trouble reworking it from its strong female perspective…

Cook's CD Already Selling Well

No release date has been set for David Cook’s CD, but it’s already selling well at

Tuesday, it was #2 on Amazon’s music chart. It currently sits at #13…

Speaking of the CD, Cook told that he has submitted some songs from his independent CD “Analog Heart” to RCA for consideration for the album…

I Just Had to Share...

I caught this scene from “Scooby Doo 2” on TV the other day and it cracked me up so much I just had to share it with you.

The song you hear is Clay Aiken’s “The Way”…

Interestingly, the end of the movie features Ruben Studdard singing “Superstar”…

Is Constantine Headed Back to Broadway?

On his MySpace page, Constantine Maroulis promises that he will be returning to Broadway soon. However, he doesn’t give any hints as to what show he will join.

In the meantime, Constantine is playing Judas in a production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” in Linville, NJ through June 28th…

Ace Gets "Addicted" to TNA Wrestling

Ace Young has teamed up with Total Non-stop Action Wrestling to promote his new single, “Addicted.”

Ace will appear live at the “Slammiversary” pay-per-view event Sunday.

According to the TNA website, he will be a “very special guest” at the wedding of “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal and SoCal Val.

To promote the wedding and his single, Ace re-cut his video to feature the duo. The wrestling clips work well, but the bedroom stuff just doesn’t make much sense. You can see for yourself here. But be warned. It’s definitely PG-13.

You can see the original here.

Though I’m disappointed with the wrestling version, if it helps draw attention to this great song, I’m okay with it…

A Lost "Idol" Gem From Diana DeGarmo

Diana DeGarmo will be working on her country career when she performs at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville this weekend.

But I have just rediscovered the single she released from her debut CD, “Blue Skies.”

It’s called “Emotional” and it’s got some pretty silly lyrics, but it’s still catchy.

You can take a listen here.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bucky to Hit the Big Screen With "Hannah"

The fine folks at Lyric Street Records just sent me a press release with some big news about Bucky Covington…

Bucky will appear in the “Hannah Montana” movie.

The appearance comes after a personal invitation from Billy Ray Cyrus.

An appearance in a movie based on the hottest thing going right now? That ought to help the record sales…

The press release says the movie is scheduled to hit theaters in 2009.

Photo provided by Lyric Street Records

Archie Signs With Jive

So let me now pass on some good news about Archie…

David has signed with 19 Recordings/Jive Records and will release an album later this year.

Jive is the home of Jordin Sparks.

Signing with Jive not only guarantees that David’s album will be straight-up pop, it also guarantees no involvement from Clive Davis.

Lucky kid…

Jeff: The Booking Agent Did It

FOX 13 in Salt Lake City is reporting that it was the E Center’s booking agent that pulled the plug on Archie’s big concert.

Jeff said the “Idol” producers approved the concert, but because the Idols tour is booked at the E Center, the booking agent said the concert could not happen—especially since the second E Center date is not yet sold out.

A “family spokesperson” told the station that he witnessed the conversation between Jeff and the booker and that it got “pretty heated.”

That story actually makes sense, but I find it hard to believe that 19 wasn’t against it…

Jessica Sierra: Ready for More "Rehab"

Jessica Sierra has decided to once again go the reality route to kick her drug addiction.

Jessica is hoping to join the cast of Celebrity Rehab II.” However, before that can happen, she has to get a judge to overturn an order that she stay at least 100 yards away from microphones and cameras.

Jessica’s lawyer and “Rehab” host Drew Pinsky will appear before the judge at the hearing.

Personally, I hope the judge doesn’t overturn the ruling because it’s becoming painfully clear that Jessica is more interested in TV time than getting better…

Jeff Is At It Again

After being mostly silent since his son finished second, Jeff Archuleta is crossing the “Idol” people again…

Jeff had planned a concert at the E Center in Salt Lake City Friday night where Archie could thank his fans. Tickets would sell for $1 with proceeds going to the Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Tuesday morning, the show was cancelled. Jeff told “The Salt Lake Tribune,” “When all the minds met, everyone concluded this wouldn’t work out for this particular weekend and they just want to reschedule it for toward the middle or the end of the tour.”

However, Tuesday afternoon, Archie’s agent revealed the real reason the concert had to be scrapped: “contractual obligations.”

Did Jeff really think he was going to get away with this? Does he not realize that his son now belongs to 19?

Archie’s agent said the “thank you” concert would be postponed to a date after the tour…

This could get interesting…

"Idol" Did Not Want Bush to "Give Back"

In an interview with “OK! Magazine,” “Idol” EP Nigel Lythgoe revealed something interesting about “Idol Gives Back”…

They didn’t want President Bush to be a part of it.

Nigel told the magazine, “We didn’t ask the President this year to say anything because we are all a bit embarrassed about him, and the office insisted that, because the [primary] candidates were on it, the President would like to come on and say ‘thank you.’”

Nigel said the producers were embarrassed by the President’s efforts to combat poverty...

Nigel: Cook Lacks Charisma

In an interview with “OK! Magazine,” “Idol” EP Nigel Lythgoe said that David Cook needs more charisma.

Nigel said, “He can certainly sing—and I’d like to see a bit more personality when he’s singing…And that was the only thing that I think our finalists lacked a little bit this year, was more charisma.”

Archie sure, but Cook? What show was he watching?

I mean, how does he think he won over all those cougars?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Is Phil Coming to Ashland?

Is Phil Stacey coming to Ashland?

His website says yes.

According to the site, Phil will be in Ashland September 19th. Might Phil be following in Bucky’s footsteps as one of the performers at Poage Landing Days?

I’ll have more on this as it becomes available…

Monday, June 2, 2008

Kat Racks Up Another Movie

So who needs a record deal?

Katharine McPhee has signed on to star in the indie psychological drama, “The Storyteller,” co-starring Wes Bentley.

Last night, Kat appeared with her “The House Bunny” castmates at the “MTV Movie Awards” to introduce the Pussycat Dolls.

“Bunny” opens August 22nd. You can see the trailer here.

The movie looks funny, but what is up with Anna Faris’ lips?...

Babygate: The Saga Continues

The Clay Aiken baby saga continues…

A report from Canwest News Service (courtesy of the “Calgary Herald”) quotes David Foster’s ex-wife, B.J. Cook, as saying the story is “ridiculous.” Cook went on to say, “I can guarantee that it’s not Clay Aiken’s baby.”

“People” reported Friday that Bill Vigars, David Foster’s agent, confirmed the story to them. But now Vigars is denying making those comments and has asked “People” to pull their story (They have not.).

Meanwhile, Clay attacked a TMZ photographer outside a restaurant when the photog asked him about the baby…

So what is the truth here? Clay’s rep has still not commented, which really makes me think that it is true. After all, wouldn’t Clay’s rep race to deny such an outrageous story if it was false?...

And the MIA Claymates? They’re just now starting to emerge from their shock to congratulate Clay and defend him.

And there’s a lot to defend him from…

Our old pal Roger Friedman from FOX News (Remember when he attacked David Cook?) went after Clay this week saying Clay was “exhibiting Michael Jackson-like characteristics.”

After commenting that Jaymes Foster was married for 25 years without having children, Friedman wrote:

“‘If she’s having a kid now, it’s with a donated egg,’ says one keen observer of the reproductive process. ‘In other words, she’s simply doing Clay a favor by carrying someone else’s egg fertilized with his sperm.’”

How can that guy even call himself a journalist? I mean, what makes one a “keen observer of the reproductive process”? Did he ever think that maybe her husband didn’t want kids? Just because a woman is married 25 years without kids doesn’t mean she can’t have them…

And “Michael Jackson-like”? Does anyone else think that’s going a bit too far?

Claymates, are you with me? Help me defend our guy here…

Some More Nuggets From Cook and Syesha posted new interviews with David Cook and Syesha Mercado that revealed some interesting nuggets…

Syesha told Michael Slezak that she was “not feeling” “Hit Me Up,” but she never agreed with his sabotage theory. However, Carly told her the next week that she couldn’t believe she got stuck with that song and even Cook could only shake his head when Slezak mentioned it to him…

Speaking of Carly, Cook says that he and Jason Castro may back her up on a version of Heart’s “Barracuda” on the tour (Cook would play guitar while Castro would play the drums.)…

Slezak revealed that Mariah Carey wants Cook to record “Always Be My Baby.” Cook said it’s something they’re discussing. Anybody else think that maybe Mariah is counting some dollar signs?...

Cook also had some interesting thoughts on those “Idol” group sings. Cook admitted that toward the end, they got pretty painful. When Slezak said he did a good job at containing his pain, Cook said, “Thank God for that theater background”…